Heidelberg and Sivakasi printers closing the skills gap with students-industry programme

Heidelberg India, in association with Sivakasi Master Printers Association, is helping create a stream of young talent for the print industry, hoping that it will combat a severe skills gap. An industrial visit followed by a seminar with the industrialists in and around Sivakasi, themed, Print Trends 4.0 and artificial intelligence, formed the core of the initiative.

14 Aug 2023 | By Noel D'Cunha

The day began with an industrial visit for students of Sivakasi Institute of Printing Technology (SIPT) and Arasan Ganesan Polytechnic (AGP), held at Unigraa Print Solutions, a cluster printing facility at Sivakasi . A live demo on Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102 5+L was the highlight of the visit, with curious minds interested in the process, asking questions, which were answered in detail by Heidelberg experts.

Harihara Prasadh, technical manager at Heidelberg, said, “Our primary goal was to provide these young and curious minds with a firsthand experience of the latest advancements in printing technology. Once we took the students on a fascinating tour of the Unigraa Print Solutions' cutting-edge facility in Sivakasi, we could hear voices of “wow” from the students.”

One of the students said, “The session was bridging the gap between their theoretical books and real-world applications, and there was a live demo which was helpful to learn more in detail about the press. Witnessing the entire printing process from the feeder to delivery, and learning about essential aspects like ink control and colour measurement was an invaluable experience.”

During the seminar, Annamalaichami Prabharan, deputy general manager for sales at Heidelberg, shared insights on how the industry will develop and how we should overcome new challenges concerning artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Prabaharan shared the benefits of the AI integration and unique features of the Speedmaster press, highlighting how productivity is enhanced. He also stressed how the industry is embracing, what he called, the “revolutionary” Print Trends 4.0, which encompasses innovative technologies and practices.

“The session helped to make the right investment decisions in the long run,” said, Giridharan, president of Sivakasi Master Printers Association.

Prabaharan Annamalaichami on AI benefits:
“The artificial intelligence features embedded in the new generation of Heidelberg Speedmaster presses are based on intelligent algorithms (data from over 6,00,000 print jobs) that can automatically configure complex production parameters previously manually defined by the operator. Implementing artificial intelligence offers unique benefits, simplifying autonomous and navigated printing across the entire printing process.”

AI benefits:

  • Reduce touchpoints and operator manual interventions.
  • Drive productivity and up-time with increased OEE (overall equipment effectiveness)
  • Optimise consistency and repeatability.
  • Reduce waste and inventory.